Friday afternoon wittering, always popular

Hello to new friends! It's Friday, and that means joy. My apologies if I'm just noticing your comments/friendings now, but LJ notifications have been... well, you know what they've been.

The Ethan Rayne ficathon! I just re-pimped this in a few places, and I'll remind you all now: two more days to sign up! Sign-ups are open until until midnight Saturday, PDT. Assignments go out July 3. Fic is due Sunday, August 26. Minimum length is 750 words. Join us!

TSSoGP#2. Am having the uneasy feeling that Top Secret SoG Project #2 is going to turn out to be longer than I initially thought. It's just... I dunno, there so much interesting stuff to explore and dig into. I'm sort of in a mood where I want to slow down and sink into my settings and characters. But mostly it's that I know what my story is, and it's not short. As in, I now have > 3000 words of outline + sketched-out fragments, which is enough that I know it'll grow into a large-ish story.

It's not fluffy, though it has some fluff in it.

Time pressure is sort of noticeable on this one, what with there being less than two weeks left. Plus side: vacation next week, so I can deep-end. No, I really have no life these days aside from work and writing. I am okay with that for the moment; still recovering from my last bout with life.

Structural games in Blackmail. I'm not working on this actively at the moment, but I was thinking about how to approach writing it. I observe a few things. 69 prompts total. The first section used 7 prompts. So, 10 parts each using 7 prompts. The last will have to be an no-prompt epilogue-y wrapup thing.

My intention is to re-tell the ending of Season 4, the Initiative plot, with focus on what I think are the interesting aspects of that storyline. Season 4 is where my serious canon-rewrite urges kick in. I think they killed off Professor Walsh way too soon; she was far more interesting than that Adam thing. As was Spike. I do so love evil!Spike, struggling against the restraints of the chip with all he's got.

I don't know if two examples make a pattern, but if so each seven-part Blackmail mini-arc is going to look like this:

section | pov1 | pov2
1. Problem statement. Buffy | Giles
2. Decision. Giles | Buffy
3. Exploration; character movement. Giles | Buffy
4. Emotional intensity raised. Buffy | Giles
5. Kink; tension raised. Buffy | Giles
6. Sex; tension released. Buffy | (Giles)
7. Sequel; decisions. Giles | (Buffy)

Which is not so bad as a starting point. It lets me break up the project into manageable chunks. But I still need to figure out where I'm going overall. The overt goal might be to write smut, but I need the plot underlying it to allow me to do so. It turns out that when I try to write PWP, what I end up with with Plot With Smut Tacked On.

But really I think I'm going to end my days as a cranky gen writer. Sometimes I just lose faith in the smut and want something ... chewier. Plots. Invention. New settings. Serious challenges for the characters. Add some smooching to that and I'm in heaven. And I feel I ought to walk the walk there, and write what I want to read.
Ooo. Don't end your days as a cranky gen writer. Stay the course. Chewy is delicious. Smut's wonderful too, but I think of that Transformations Quartet. Best of both worlds. Kris Walberg? Am I totally blowing the reference here?
The Transformations Quartet is serious love for me. It's what sold me on Buffy/Giles. Heartbreaking. Though I do sorta doubt that any one human being could survive what poor Giles is put through in that story: all angst all the time. And when I got to the end and realized she'd abandoned it in mid-write... Friends, I swear I will not do that to you. Unless I have that tragic steamroller accident, I will finish all the WIPs.
Maggie Walsh
I had read that Maggie Walsh was going to be the "big bad" for season 4, but the actress wanted out to do a movie or something and couldn't commit to the hours needed to conclude the season. Although reviewing those last episodes in my brain, that doesn't quite add up. I will now probably be "forced" to review the end of season 4.

I also usually feel the need for more plot and challenges for the characters. Sometimes smut just isn't enough, although I will never turn down reading it. I am trying to develop my writing so I can move into more complex story lines and I can contribute more than comments.
Re: Maggie Walsh
Darn! I hate it when real life concerns get in the way of the storylines. (E.g., ASH in season 6. Sigh.) Walsh would have been an enjoyably complex baddie, I think. Or so I hope. I'd like to make her into one.

And hooray for improving the writing! My advice to everyone is write a lot. Write often. Small things, longer things. Finish them, look at them and learn from them, and then move one. Make mistakes, preferably new ones every time. Get practice.
Don't be a cranky gen writer! Be a happy gen writer! Or, you know, write plot with your smut, which you do extremely well anyway.

I feel your pain re: the length of the second SoG fic. But I like long and meaty, so am looking forward to it.
Have overcome my anti-smut-in-mid-plot mood. I am now happy with the idea of mixing it all in for a happy soup of Whatever The Hell It Is I Feel Like Writing. Gen, schmoop, romance, pr0n, violence, horror, whatever! I will run amuck!